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Kia Sportage Hybrid VS Hyundai Tucson Hybrid: Enemies

The French cultural exception also exists in the field of cars. For a long time, our country was the only one in the world where kia sold more cars than the parent brand, hyundai† If the situation was reversed last year, Kia wants to regain the upper hand from 2022. For this, the first months of marketing of the new Sportage will be crucial. Its Hyundai counterpart, the Tucson, has sold more than 17,700 units in our country in 2021, while the Sportage only found 6,236 customers at the end of its life. The arrival of the 5th generation of the latter puts everything flat. From now on, these two “brothers” play on an equal footing. And the arsenal is many: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and, the one that will probably be most in demand with us, hybrid.

Curves for the Tucson, sharp lines for the Sportage: everyone has their aesthetic choices.
Curves for the Tucson, sharp lines for the Sportage: everyone has their aesthetic choices.
From this angle, originality is required in both cases.
From this angle, originality is required in both cases.

In this setup fully hybrid, this duo hardly knows any rivals. Indeed, among the general manufacturers, only Ford, with its Kuga 2.5 Duratec Hybrid of 190 hp, which offers the advantage of being able to drink bioethanol in its two-wheel drive version, Honda, with its outdated CR-Vand Toyota, with the Rav4, offer an alternative. Despite this weak resistance, the Koreans do not spare their attempts to seduce. They therefore offer the highest power, 230 hp, in this category. They also offer four-wheel drive under the names HTrac at Hyundai and 4×4 at Kia.

Kia's interior design team was clearly inspired by the latest creations from Mercedes…
Kia’s interior design team was clearly inspired by the latest creations from Mercedes…
…while at Hyundai the interior presentation is more personal but less modern.
…while at Hyundai the interior presentation is more personal but less modern.

To perfect the presentations, we summon the two occupants of the engine compartment. On the left the very proven 1.6 T-GDi, a four-cylinder that develops 180 hp here. On the right, a permanent magnet synchronous motor delivering 44.2 kW or 60 hp. The maximum combined power is therefore 230 hp, while the torque peaks at 350 Nm from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. Power and power is then sent to the drive wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Practical aspects: everyone has their own weapons

Developed on the same foundation and operating within the same category, the Sportage and Tucson logically offer a very similar interior space. In one case, four adults find their comfort, both in the front and in the back. We can still credit the Kia with a slightly softer seat. However, among the compact SUVs, neither really excel in terms of size/habitability. The lack of onboard brightness is also a point these cousins ​​share. In question, a particularly high body line on the rear seats and, in most cases, uniform black interior trim. By choosing the panoramic glass sunroof, the atmosphere on board changes radically. But this equipment is reserved for the high-quality finishes of these SUVs or requires going through the list of options on the intermediate versions.

Compared to the previous Sportage, the progress in interior presentation is enormous.
Compared to the previous Sportage, the progress in interior presentation is enormous.
Sporty on our test model, the atmosphere on board the Tucson can be even cozier if you opt for the beige interior.
Sporty on our test model, the atmosphere on board the Tucson can be even cozier if you opt for the beige interior.

Also in terms of luggage volume, the Sportage remains on average with 587 l. A figure that rises to 1,776 l, one of the best values ​​in the category, once the rear seats are fully folded. The Tucson drives the point home with a more generous trunk: 616L in 5-seat configuration and 1,795L with bench folded.

But the Sportage hasn’t said the last word yet. The onboard storage options are more spacious than those of the Hyundai, especially those in the front center armrest. The Kia also offers an interesting trick: on the back of the front headrests there are two supports that allow you to lay your clothes down without risking creasing them.

The space in the back of the Sportage is generous, but the occupant of the middle seat will be bothered by the presence of the armrest.
The space in the back of the Sportage is generous, but the occupant of the middle seat will be bothered by the presence of the armrest.
The Tucson loses a few points here due to a slightly harder seat than his cousin's.
The Tucson loses a few points here due to a slightly harder seat than his cousin’s.

In both cases, the presentation shines with its modernity. All instrumentation has been converted to digital, except for the Active version of the Sportage, and can be personalized according to the driver’s wishes. The infotainment equipment is operated via a touchscreen, 12.3″ for the Kia and 10.25″ for the Hyundai (except Intuitive finish: 8″). The operating logic is identical in both cases, with menus and submenus that are a bit takes some getting used to, but the larger size of the Sportage panel is obviously a plus for readability.The Korean engineers also had the good idea to keep direct access controls for air conditioning, but the Sportage’s are smaller and are also used to control navigation. to adjust, making its use less instinctive.

Despite the presence of the wheel arches, the trunk of the Sportage is easy to use.
Despite the presence of the wheel arches, the trunk of the Sportage is easy to use.
The trunk of the Tucson offers about thirty liters more than that of the Kia.
The trunk of the Tucson offers about thirty liters more than that of the Kia.

With regard to the outside lines, the design agency has opted for two completely different dashboards. Everyone will judge according to their own taste. However, from an objective point of view, it will be impossible to decide between them, since the quality of their materials and their compositions are identical. Understand that the level is very honorable but that the European references, Volkswagen Tiguan in mind, stay one step ahead.

Budget: close to the Sportage

Within the Hyundai-Kia group, there is no hierarchy between the brands, even though each has its own territory. The purchase price will therefore not be a criterion when choosing between Sportage and Tucson, as only a few tens of euros separate the two. Depending on the finishes, this difference is sometimes in favor of one, sometimes the other. The same observation if we note the consumption, which makes perfect sense, since the mechanical elements, remember, are strictly identical. Driving like a good father ensures that you stay under 7.5 l/100 km in mixed use. However, the Korean technology proves to be particularly efficient if the driver puts in a little himself. For example, we managed to get below 6 l/100 km in the city and around 6.5 l/100 km on the secondary network.

Ultimately, the main difference between these two is their warranty. The Sportage offers the essential Kia 7 year/150,000 km warranty, while the Tucson prefers a 5 year contract “only”, but with no mileage limit. Oddly enough, the reliability is slightly more on the side of Hyundai, but the latter is penalized with a non-existent malus for the Sportage, which imposes itself with a hairband.

The look of the Sportage is instantly recognizable.
The look of the Sportage is instantly recognizable.
Each ''eye'' of the Tucson consists of 7 different light elements.
Each ”eye” of the Tucson consists of 7 different light elements.


Equipment: the copy-paste policy

Also in this area it is almost impossible to choose between these two hybrids. If the Sportage offers 3 trim levels (Active, Design and GT-Line Premium), the Tucson offers another (Intuitive, Creative, Executive and N Line Executive), allowing it to display a more aggressive first price (€34,650 vs. €37,490) . But the Kia compensates for this with more complete standard equipment, which includes automatic LED fog lamps, roof racks, driver assistance in traffic jams and on the highway, adaptive cruise control, tri-zone air conditioning or even GPS. enough to make up for the price difference.

The 12.3 touchscreen
The 12.3-inch touchscreen is standard on all Sportage Hybrids.
In contrast, the digital instrument cluster is only supplied from the Active finish.
In contrast, the digital instrument cluster is only supplied from the Active finish.
This strip of controls can control both navigation and air conditioning.  Not very intuitive.
This strip of controls can control both navigation and air conditioning. Not very intuitive.

At the other end of the range, the Sportage GT-Line Premium and Tucson N Line Executive have a price difference of €560 (€44,490 versus €45,050). † However, the most sensitive vertebrae will undoubtedly lean in favor of the Hyundai, the only one to offer controlled suspensions as an option (800 euros).

In order to have a Tucson with GPS, it is necessary to opt for at least the second level of finish, called Creative.
In order to have a Tucson with GPS, it is necessary to opt for at least the second level of finish, called Creative.
The appearance of the instrument panel may vary according to the driver's wishes.
The appearance of the instrument panel may vary according to the driver’s wishes.
The Tucson ditched traditional gearbox controls in favor of push buttons.
The Tucson ditched traditional gearbox controls in favor of push buttons.

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